Right to Exist

Stolen from a discussion at Jerry Pournelle’s place:

Couv’s Aphorism: No country has a right to exist except that which it enforces by persuasion, diplomacy, trickery, or force of arms. Of the four, force of arms trumps all.

That is, as another commenter points out, simply existing is something a nation must actively defend. There is no inherent national “right to exist”. This means, of course, that a nation whose borders aren’t actively enforced won’t be “itself” for long.

And another “of course” (of course ;-)): undefended borders are a boon to those who want to effect the demise of a nation. Makes one wonder if applying the word “traitor” to open borders advocates isn’t merely appropriate but a bit soft.

4 Replies to “Right to Exist”

  1. Perhaps the most irritating of all discussion topics, the nature of sovereignty, is closely connected to this. Sovereignty is very much a de facto, rather than de jure, condition. Yet people blather about it as if it were something decided by a judicial tribunal and honored like a Supreme Court decision.

    When a nation falls to the armed might of a neighbor, debates about “sovereignty” become most shrill…and most irrelevant. There’s a moral in there, somewhere.

    1. Indeed, Francis. Sovereignty only exists when a nation can enforce it. Couv’s Aphorism states the means by which it can be enforced… and the trump card, force, by which it can be overthrown… or maintained.

  2. This discussion would lend strength to the idea that corporations and nations share similar traits, the only difference between an individual and them is the part about inalienable rights. While an individual is given the right to protect property and life from God, corporations and nations are granted powers (slightly different than rights) from the society which is made from within.

    Failure to employ sufficient powers to ensure survival is systemic and tied directly to the awareness of enough individuals to convince the rest of the need to act. In this area America is in serious trouble because we have elected traitors.

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